Thanks Bill. I have not started any treatment. My GI doctor mentioned antiviral treatment and suggested I attend a seminar to learn more about the treatment first. I am not sure if I want to take that course and wanted to find out my viral load first.
Am 50 years old. Had jaundice as a child, my sibling has hep C as well. Never had any symptoms until a year ago - fevers, tired, etc.
Not sure what to do next. I heard the treatment can be debilitating.
I think it's the Logarithmic format and to be quite honest I'm not sure exactly how it works. The 25,960 IU/mL is really all you need because that's the number we use and doctors use when assessing PCR test results.
I'm sure someone will chime in and explain how the 4.414 log10 IU/mL converts to 25,960 IU/mL.
Yeah, it can be somewhat challenging at times, but most of us manage one way or another, and get through it.
Have you had a biopsy yet? Do you know your genotype, or strain of HCV? With a viral load, you should already have genotype; or they should be working on it right now.
Biopsy can help you determine how much, if any damage has occurred to your liver as well as how urgent the need is to treat your disease.
How long do you suppose you might have had HCV?
Depending on a number of factors, there are new meds in clinical trial that are pretty exciting; be sure to discuss these with the doc. Ask about ‘STAT-C’ class drugs, when they might be available, and if you would benefit from them and should wait for their release.
No biopsy yet. Doc thinks I have had this all my life since it is in the family. no high risk lifestyle expect - I did used to enjoy my beer and spirits - completely off that now.
I have been tested for just about EVERYTHING because of my initial symptoms - low energy, fevers, breathing problems. Heart, lungs, test for leukemia, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid, epstein barr and other auto immune diseases, colon cancer! I changed doctors for a 2nd opinion and this time they decided to test me for Hep C and confirmed it.
genotype is 1b.
Actually I am a little surprised at the low viral count since I have F1-F2 stage fibrosis.
Fibrosis score is 0.47 and Necroinflammit Activity score is 0.55 both high.
I see; so the fibrosis scoring was per Fibrosure of Fibrospect? If this is truly representative of the state of your liver, you could most likely wait for more efficacious drugs to avail themselves.
The current drugs include pegylated (long lasting) interferon and ribavirin; genotype 1 patients respond to these drugs about 45-50% of the time with current meds.
The new drugs will be used in conjunction with interferon/riba; in clinical trials, they increase the efficacy to roughly 75%, and in some patient populations reduce treatment duration from 48 to 24 weeks.
Specifically discuss ‘Telaprevir’ and ‘Boceprevir’ with your doctor; they are currently available in clinical trial; press releases from their marketing departments suggest FDA approval and market release for Telaprevir as soon as 2011.
I’ve had one Fibrosure test in the past, but for what it’s worth, I’m not personally convinced they actually portray an accurate picture. Of course, biopsy has it’s won issues, but is still considered the ‘imperfect’ gold standard for this purpose. I really don’t understand the differences between ‘sure and ‘spect; I think they use different biochemical markers as well as different algorithms.
It’s important to understand that viral load and damage/fibrosis don’t necessarily correlate with viral load. Unlike with other diseases like HIV and Hep B, viral load is most important only when treatment commences; at that point viral load will be used as a gauge, or barometer of response to the treatment drugs. For instance, I had stage 3/4 fibrosis, but my viral load never exceeded 150,000 IU/mL. Others have reported very little fibrosis (scarring) per liver biopsy, but had viral loads in excess of 50,000,000.
There are special considerations made for someone with a viral load of <400,000 IU/mL and that respond very rapidly to therapy; some of these patients might benefit from truncated treatment protocol. Other than that, viral load means little in terms of disease progression, unfortunately for those like you and I :o).
I can’t help you with symptoms like fever, etc; fever isn’t typically associated with chronic HCV. You should continue to explore this with your doctor; hopefully it’ll be something simple and easy to resolve.
thanks again for your experienced feedback. clears up some things that I always forget to ask when in the doc's office. Will have to decide on treatment - can't take time off from work, in case the inteferon is difficult to handle. This fever thing might be something different since my WBC count has been low since Jan. primary doc says I have mild infection but can't say what it is...
this whole experience has been quite a challenge for me and my spouse, but could be worse...so counting my blessings.
will update after next doc visit - or miracle!
This forum is really helpful, in many ways and the support system is priceless.
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